Dbytes #342 (9 August 2018)

Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decisions Group

“The collection, arrangement and availability of data is key to evidenced-based public policy.” Vardon et al, 2018 [See item 4]


General News

1. Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene
2.
Global audit of biodiversity monitoring
3. A short course on Citizen Science in the Digital Age (6-7 September)
4. How the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting can improve environmental information systems and data quality for decision making
5. Donald Trump’s border wall could cause great ecological damage, scientists warn US government

EDG Node News

UMelb Node: Hannah Fraser on a campaign to increase the use of registered reports
UQ Node: Sylvaine Giakoumi and colleagues on Conserving European biodiversity across realms
RMIT Node: Alex Kusmanoff on please don’t leave the path
ANU node: Kerrie Wilson to deliver a Fenner Guest Lecture on smart decisions
UWA Node: Heterogeneous public preference for REDD+ projects under different forest management regimes

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General News

1. Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene
“A domino-like cascade of melting ice, warming seas, shifting currents and dying forests could tilt the Earth into a “hothouse” state beyond which human efforts to reduce emissions will be increasingly futile, a group of leading climate scientists has warned. This grim prospect is sketched out in a journal paper that considers the combined consequences of 10 climate change processes, including the release of methane trapped in Siberian permafrost and the impact of melting ice in Greenland on the Antarctic.”
Ref: Steffen. W,  Rockström. J,  Richardson. K,  Lenton. T.M, Folke. C,  Liverman. D,  Summerhayes. C.P,  Barnosky. A.D, Cornell. S.E, Crucifix. M,  Donges. J.F,  Fetzer. I,  Lade. S.J,  Scheffer. M, Winkelmann. R and  Schellnhuber, H.J PNAS August 6, 2018. 201810141; http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/07/31/1810141115

And see the story on this paper in the Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/06/domino-effect-of-climate-events-could-push-earth-into-a-hothouse-state

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2. Global audit of biodiversity monitoring

[From Dr Caro Moussy, BirdLife International]
“As part of the IUCN SSC Species Monitoring Specialist Group’s work to improve species monitoring for conservation (Stephenson 2018; Oryx 52: 412-413), and parallel efforts to improve the monitoring of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), we are conducting a global audit of biodiversity monitoring to identify gaps in data, coverage and capacity in long-term species monitoring. This project is funded by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) Collaborative Fund, and involves partners and collaborators from around the world.

We aim to:
_ take stock of the state of species monitoring worldwide, and identify taxonomic and geographic gaps that need filling, to help prioritise the Specialist Group’s future work
_ promote the dissemination and use of biodiversity data, by creating an open access database holding metadata on species monitoring schemes, to connect data providers and decision makers
_ identify potential additional sources of data for biodiversity indices, such as the Living Planet Index and Red List Index

Please answer to the best of your knowledge and select the options that best fit the monitoring scheme concerned. This should take 10-15 minutes and needs to be completed in one sitting.
If you would like to answer for several monitoring schemes, please complete the questionnaire for each scheme separately or consider downloading the Excel form from our website.

The questionnaire has been developed, tested and refined over several months, to make it as quick and simple to complete as possible, but please let me know if you have any questions or comments (caroline.moussy@birdlife.org; skype: caromoussy).

Thank you very much in advance. I look forward to receiving your contribution by 30 September 2018.”

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/speciesmonitoring

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3. A short course on Citizen Science in the Digital Age (6-7 September)

With the arrival of the digital age — particularly mobile devices and big data — citizen science projects can engage the public in new ways, on a scale unlike anything before. Working with Questagame’s Andrew Robinson and Dr Mallika Robinson, the ANU Centre for Public Awareness of Science is piloting a brand new short course examining the roles and relationships between public participation in scientific research and the latest developments in digital technologies. Limited spaces available.
Find out more or register at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/citizen-science-in-the-digital-age-pilot-short-course-tickets-47244406291
Registrations close 4 September

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4. How the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting can improve environmental information systems and data quality for decision making
Integration of environmental and economic data is essential for improved decision making. The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting increases the use of environmental information. The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting increases data quality.
Ref: Michael Vardon, Juan-Pablo Castaneda, Michael Nagy, Sjoerd Schenau (2018). How the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting can improve environmental information systems and data quality for decision making. Environmental Science & Policy, 89: 83-92,
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2018.07.007

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5. Donald Trump’s border wall could cause great ecological damage, scientists warn US government

Scientists in the US are warning of the potential for serious ecological consequences if Donald Trump’s proposed border wall between the US and Mexico goes ahead. The wall, which would span the majority of the border from the North Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, will impede animal migration, shrink animal habitat and split populations of species into smaller, less viable groups, according to the 18 researchers who published their findings today in BioScience.

ABC News

End of the story reads: US world leaders in extinction. The United States already has the highest number of extinctions of any country in the world, and by a significant margin. The latest International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List, released earlier this month, names 237 species extinctions in the United States, with a further 214 listed as critically endangered. Australia is ranked fourth in the world for extinctions, having wiped out 40 species, and with another 106 on the critically endangered list. The consequences of building a wall across the US will likely hit endangered species the hardest, and may be complicated by the impacts of climate change, Professor Ripple warned.

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EDG News

UMelb Node: Hannah Fraser on a campaign to increase the use of registered reportsRegistered Reports are a fantastic initiative designed to decrease publication bias in ecology and reduce the incentives to use Questionable Research Practices, because your research is accepted or rejected based on the idea and methods alone… not on the statistical significance, or non-significance of your results. They come into their own for confirmatory research but could also be useful in exploratory research if you have a really clear method in mind. Very few ecology journals currently offer Registered Reports and it would be great to see more of them. We’re trying to get interested ecologists together to petition some of the major ecology journals – asking them to offer Registered Reports. If you’re interested in knowing more or getting involved visit this webpage.Registered Reports are a really great initiative… but currently they are NOT very available to researchers in ecology and evolutionary biology. BMC Biology, BMC Ecology, and PCI Ecology currently accept registered reports and Conservation Biology is in the process of initiating them which is FANTASTIC but, still pretty restrictive. I would like to see all Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Journals offer Registered Reports. Because so few Ecology and Evolutionary Biology journals currently support Registered Reports, I suspect that there will be a lot of resistance from journals. Therefore, I believe that we are going to need a serious weight of numbers behind any suggestion to take up this format and I’m hoping that you will help. If you’re in support of Registered Reports, please fill in this google form: selecting the journals you would like to see offering Registered Reports and giving your name and institutional affiliation. Hopefully we can make a real difference together!
https://hsfraser.wordpress.com/registered-report-petition/

UQ Node: Sylvaine Giakoumi and colleagues on Conserving European biodiversity across realms
Terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems are connected via multiple biophysical and ecological processes. Identifying and quantifying links among ecosystems is necessary for the uptake of integrated conservation actions across realms. Such actions are particularly important for species using habitats in more than one realm during their daily or life cycle. We reviewed information on the habitats of 2,408 species of European conservation concern and found that 30% of the species use habitats in multiple realms. Transportation and service corridors, which fragment species habitats, were identified as the most important threat impacting ∼70% of the species. We examined information on 1,567 European Union (EU) conservation projects funded over the past 25 years, to assess the adequacy of efforts toward the conservation of “multi‐realm” species at a continental scale. We discovered that less than a third of multi‐realm species benefited from projects that included conservation actions across multiple realms. To achieve the EU’s conservation target of halting biodiversity loss by 2020 and effectively protect multi‐realm species, integrated conservation efforts across realms should be reinforced by: (1) recognizing the need for integrated management at a policy level, (2) revising conservation funding priorities across realms, and (3) implementing integrated land‐freshwater‐sea conservation planning and management.
Giakoumi et al. (2018). Conserving European biodiversity across realms. Conservation Letters (2018): e12586. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/conl.12586

RMIT Node: Alex Kusmanoff on please don’t leave the path
“Negatively framed messages are more effective than positively framed messages on signs that seek to persuade people to keep a hiking trail – and probably in other places too! The research reported in this article tested the effectiveness of four differently phrased ‘Please keep to the path’ type signs. This research easily pre-dates this site and if we had happened upon it earlier may have influenced our name and you might currently be reading at Please don’t leave the path.”
https://keeptothepath.com/2018/07/30/please-dont-leave-the-path/

ANU node: Kerrie Wilson to deliver a Fenner Guest Lecture
CEED’s Director Kerrie Wilson is delivering a Fenner Guest Lecture on Smart decisions for the environment on Friday 10 August. Following her presentation she will participate in a panel discussion on the topic: “Environmental decision-making is a complex endeavour requiring consideration of a broad spectrum of environmental, economic and social factors. Environmental decisions science is a rapidly developing field of research applying decisions science thinking to solve environmental problems. Where, when and how problems can be addressed to achieve best value for the money and resources available are provided, along with options to enhance stakeholder support. In her talk, Professor Kerrie Wilson will describe examples of best practice restoration planning and prioritization approaches involving formal processes of objective setting involving stakeholder groups with varying values and priorities. This body of research has facilitated transparent and inclusive establishment of restoration objectives and plans, and is applicable across terrestrial, marine, freshwater and coastal realms.”
http://fennerschool.anu.edu.au/news-events/smart-decisions-environment

UWA Node: Heterogeneous public preference for REDD+ projects under different forest management regimes
Successful implementation of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) projects depends on active support and participation by local households. It has been suggested that households’ support for REDD+ could be influenced by their socio-economic conditions, their experience with REDD+ projects and local forest management regimes. However, there has been little information about the effect of such contextual factors on public preference for REDD+ projects. Using a choice experiment survey in Indonesia, this paper examines heterogeneity on household preferences for REDD+ projects among three distinct forest management regimes: private, government, and community. We found that respondents in community regime are the most supportive for REDD+ projects whereas those in private regime are the least supportive. Current REDD+ interventions also have heterogeneous impacts on household preferences across forest management regimes. Added restrictions on forest-dependent livelihoods under REDD+ projects is the biggest concern of participating households; however, we note that involving households in decision-making and distributing REDD+ benefit for community projects could create a supportive environment for REDD+ projects. Female respondents from households with larger family size and limited land ownership are more likely to support REDD+ projects. These findings provide useful insights to design more targeted REDD+ projects. Free link until the end of August https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1XMfDyDvM44UA
Rakatama, A, Pandit, R. Iftekhar, MS and Ma, C. (2018). Heterogeneous public preference for REDD+ projects under different forest management regimes. Land Use Policy, Vol 78, p 266-277. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.07.004

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About Dbytes
Dbytes is the eNewsletter of the Environmental Decisions Group. It is edited and distributed by David Salt. If you have any contributions to Dbytes (ie, opportunities and resources that you think might think be of value to other Dbyte readers) please send them to David.Salt@anu.edu.au. Please keep them short and provide a link for more info. While Dbytes is primarily aimed at members of the EDG, anyone is welcome to receive it.

About EDG
The Environmental Decision Group (EDG) is a network of conservation researchers working on the science of effective decision making to better conserve biodiversity. Our members are largely based at the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Western Australia, RMIT and CSIRO. The EDG receives support from the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). You can find out about the wonderful work of CEED by reading its magazine, Decision Point (which, as it happens, is also produced by David Salt).

Decision Point: http://www.decision-point.com.au/  

 

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